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About Us

The District 39 Educational Foundation has been incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization since 1993. We are an independent volunteer group that raises and grants funds for projects that expand, enrich, and complement educational opportunities for the students, staff, and community in District 39. We provide programs and materials through our Gripp Grants that our community is not able to fund with tax dollars alone. The Foundation’s Board of Trustees includes parents, teachers, business owners, and other members of the District 39 community.

The Foundation’s Mission

  • Promote educational innovation and excellence
  • Encourage community involvement and support for education
  • Challenge educators to raise their aspirations for educational programs
  • Increase students’ global awareness and understanding of human diversity
  • Expand opportunities for students to fulfill their varied interests and talents

Foundation Trustees for 2015-2016


Tracy Peacock – Chair
Margie Karabas – Vice-Chair
Melissa Murray – Treasurer
Susan Parker – Secretary

Committee Chairpersons

Liesel Brown – Fundraising Chairperson
Lisa Finks – Math and Science Co-Chairperson
Anne Fitzpatrick – Math and Science Co-Chairperson                                                             Joan Criswell-Merrilees – Gripp Grant Chairperson
Shari Gottlieb – Marketing Chairperson
Katherine Byrnes – Board Development Chairperson                                                               Heidi Mayer – Fine Arts Chairperson

School Liaisons

Arielle Heneghan – Harper Liaison
Genny Lenon – McKenzie Liaison
Wendy Raymond – WJHS Liaison
Lisa Ryan – Highcrest Liaison
Susan Pekar – Romona Liaison
Liesel Brown – Central Liaison

Tina Baer
John Flanagin – Board of Education Liaison (rotating)
Pam Fowler
Michael Holden – HMS Teacher
Sandy Karwowski – Romona Teacher
Tiffany Laczkowski
Ray Lechner – Superintendent
William Harris Lee
Erin Lyons – PR
Elizabeth McKenna
Christine Moran
Kim Ratkin
Hana Rivkin
Alice Schaff – Board of Education Liaison (rotating)
Sabine Scholz
Robin Shapo
Sarah Sloane
Julie Tritsis
Brenda Werth
Katie Woodman

Honored Lifetime Member

Sam Mikaelian